Sunday, October 24, 2021

[Mollusca • 2021] Namkongnaia inkhavilayi & N. lemeslei • Molecular Phylogeny reveals A New Genus of Freshwater Mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) from the Mekong River Basin

Namkongnaia inkhavilayi gen. et sp. nov. 
Namkongnaia lemeslei (Morelet, 1875)

Jeratthitikul, Sutcharit, Ngor & Prasankok, 2021

A new genus of freshwater mussels (Bivalvia: Unionidae) is described from the Mekong River Basin as Namkongnaia gen. nov. The validity of the new genus is supported by its unique conchological characteristics, namely the lack of hinge dentition and elongated shells, together with its evolutionary distinctiveness as estimated by multi-locus phylogenetic analyses (mitochondrial COI and 16S, and nuclear 28S genes). The new genus includes two lineages with deep divergence, shown by 5.10% uncorrected COI p-distance. One lineage is a type species described herein as Namkongnaia inkhavilayi gen. et sp. nov. The other is a recognized species under the name ‘Pilsbryoconcha lemeslei (Morelet, 1875)’. Molecular phylogenetic analysis further shows that the new genus belongs to the tribe Pseudodontini, and evolutionarily is closely related to the genus Monodontina Conrad, 1853. However, its conchology is similar to the genus Pilsbryoconcha Simpson, 1900. Time-calibrated phylogeny suggests that the main radiation events of the tribe Pseudodontini occurred during the Late Cretaceous to the Eocene, with the divergence between the new genus and Monodontina placed in the Miocene. The discovery of new freshwater mussel taxa in this study highlights the importance of the Mekong River Basin as one of the world’s biodiversity hotspots for freshwater fauna.

Keywords: Indochina, freshwater mussels, multi-locus phylogeny, new taxa, time-calibrated phylogeny

Family Unionidae Rafinesque, 1820
Subfamily Gonideinae Ortmann, 1916

Tribe Pseudodontini Frierson, 1927
Subtribe Pilsbryoconchina Bolotov et al., 2017

Genus Namkongnaia gen. nov.

Differential diagnosis: The new genus is distinguished from other genera in Pseudodontini by having a narrow, elongated, and less inflated shell. It is also represented as a distinct clade in multi-locus phylogenetic analyses.

Description: Shell Medium-sized, thin, narrow and elongated, rather compressed, very in equilateral; anteriorly round; posteriorly round or somewhat pointed; umbonal area not elevated and usually eroded. Ligament very narrow. Hinge without dentition, posterior end of the hinge structure with V-shaped fossette. Anterior adductor muscle scar shallow, ovate, and fused with pedal retractor muscle scars; posterior adductor muscle scar very shallow. Excurrent aperture smooth, shorter than incurrent; incurrent with 1-2 rows of conical papillae. Gills elongated and slightly ribbed; anterior margin of inner gills slightly longer and wider than outer gills.

Etymology: The generic name “Namkongnaia” is from the word “Namkong”, a name for the Mekong River used by Thai and Lao peoples, and Greek word “naiad” meaning freshwater mussels. The name of this genus thus means “freshwater mussels from Mekong River”.

Distribution: Mekong River and its tributaries in Laos, Cambodia, and Thailand (Fig. 3; Brandt 1974; Ng et al. 2020). The distribution range may include the Mae Klong River Basin in Thailand (Brandt 1974), although the taxonomic status of the specimens recorded in Brandt (1974) needs to be confirmed.

Map showing distribution localities of Namkongnaia gen. nov. Boundaries of river basins follow Abell et al. (2008).

Namkongnaia inkhavilayi gen. et sp. nov.

Pilsbryoconcha lemeslei – Brandt 1974: 263, pl. 18 fig. 22 (in part, only records from “Nang Rong (Prov. Burirum)”, Thailand) [non Anodonta lemeslei Morelet, 1875].

Etymology: This new species is dedicated to our colleague and distinguished malacologist, Dr Khamla Inkhavilay, from the National University of Laos

Namkongnaia lemeslei (Morelet, 1875) gen. et comb. nov.

Distribution: This species is restricted to Tonle Sap Lake and its tributaries in Cambodia. Its distribution probably reaches the headwater of Tonle Sap basin in eastern Thailand (Brandt 1974).

Habitat: This species was recorded in mud substrate in still sections of rivers or in lentic habitat, i.e., ponds and lakes (Morelet 1875; Morlet 1889; Brandt 1974).

Distribution: This new species appears to occur in the Lower Mekong watershed. In Laos, it was recorded from several locations near Vientiane, Kammoune, and Champasak Provinces. In Thailand, it is known from the Songkram and Mun river basins in the northeast region (Brandt 1974).

Ekgachai Jeratthitikul, Chirasak Sutcharit, Peng Bun Ngor and Pongpun Prasankok. 2021. Molecular Phylogeny reveals A New Genus of Freshwater Mussels from the Mekong River Basin (Bivalvia: Unionidae). European Journal of Taxonomy. 775(1), 119-142. DOI: 10.5852/ejt.2021.775.1553

[Herpetology • 2021] Molecular Species Delimitation of Shrub Frogs of the Genus Pseudophilautus (Anura, Rhacophoridae)

Ellepola, Herath, Manamendra-Arachchi, et al., 2021.

Sri Lanka is an amphibian hotspot of global significance. Its anuran fauna is dominated by the shrub frogs of the genus Pseudophilautus. Except for one small clade of four species in Peninsular India, these cool-wet adapted frogs, numbering some 59 extant species, are distributed mainly across the montane and lowland rain forests of the island. With species described primarily by morphological means, the diversification has never yet been subjected to a molecular species delimitation analysis, a procedure now routinely applied in taxonomy. Here we test the species boundaries of Pseudophilautus in the context of the phylogenetic species concept (PSC). We use all the putative species for which credible molecular data are available (nDNA–Rag-1; mt-DNA– 12S rRNA, 16S rRNA) to build a well resolved phylogeny, which is subjected to species delimitation analyses. The ABGD, bPTP, mPTP and bGMYC species delimitation methods applied to the 16S rRNA frog barcoding gene (for all species), 12S rRNA and Rag-1 nDNA grouped P. procax and P. abundus; P. hallidayi and P. fergusonianus; P. reticulatus and P. pappilosus; P. pleurotaenia and P. hoipolloi; P. hoffmani and P. asankai; P. silvaticus and P. limbus; P. dilmah and P. hankeni; P. fulvus and P. silus.. Surprisingly, all analyses recovered 14 unidentified potential new species as well. The geophylogeny affirms a distribution across the island’s aseasonal ‘wet zone’ and its three principal hill ranges, suggestive of allopatric speciation playing a dominant role, especially between mountain masses. Among the species that are merged by the delimitation analyses, a pattern leading towards a model of parapatric speciation emerges–ongoing speciation in the presence of gene flow. This delimitation analysis reinforces the species hypotheses, paving the way to a reasonable understanding of Sri Lankan Pseudophilautus, enabling both deeper analyses and conservation efforts of this remarkable diversification.  

Delimitation summary results.
Molecular phylogenetic relationships of Pseudophilautus, based on Bayesian inference of the concatenated data set of the 16S rRNA + 12S rRNA + Rag1 (2189bp) loci. Asterisks (*) above nodes represent ≥ 95% Bayesian posterior probabilities. The scale bar represents number of changes per site. Recovered species delimitation based on overall significance of results for molecular species delimitation methods (ABGD, bPTP, mPTP and bGMYC) using 16S rRNA, 12S rRNA, Rag-1 nDNA loci and the concatenated data set are shown as black rectangles on the right. Six major clades of Pseudophilautus, A-F, are shaded in different colours on the phylogeny. Images of frogs indicate species suggestive of synonymyzation based on recovered species delimitations. Rectangles indicated by * in similar colours represent species pairs that were recovered as close relatives or recovered in different clades based on their relative position on the concatenated tree.

Gajaba Ellepola, Jayampathi Herath, Kelum Manamendra-Arachchi, Nayana Wijayathilaka, Gayani Senevirathne, Rohan Pethiyagoda and Madhava Meegaskumbura. 2021. Molecular Species Delimitation of Shrub Frogs of the Genus Pseudophilautus (Anura, Rhacophoridae). PLoS ONE. 16(10): e0258594. DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0258594

[Herpetology • 2021] Amolops caelumnoctis Rao & Wilkinson, 2007, A Junior Synonym of Amolops splendissimus Orlov & Ho, 2007 (Anura: Ranidae)

 Amolops splendissimus Orlov & Ho, 2007

in Zhang, Rowley, Liu, ... et Yuan, 2021.
Amolops splendissimus Orlov and Ho, 2007 and A. caelumnoctis Rao and Wilkinson, 2007 were described almost simultaneously from either side of the China-Vietnam border. The two species share a strong morphological resemblance, and their taxonomic distinctiveness has been questioned, yet no one has confirmed the taxonomic relationship and status between the two taxa. To resolve this taxonomic issue, we collected additional topotypic and near-topotypic specimens of A. splendissimus and A. caelumnoctis from both China (A. caelumnoctis: Wenshan County, Yunnan Province; type locality Luchun County, Yunnan Province), and Vietnam (A. splendissimus: Tam Duong District, Lai Chau Province; type locality Mount Ky Quan San, Bat Xat, Lao Cai Province). Molecular analysis based on a 16S rRNA fragment revealed minimal genetic divergences between the two taxa (0.0%–0.4% uncorrected p-distance), and both species are closely related to A. viridimaculatus (2.1%–2.3%) and A. medogensis (3.5%–3.7%). Morphological comparisons between the newly collected specimens and the original descriptions of both species further support the lack of distinctiveness of the two species, hence, we conclude that A. caelumnoctis is a junior synonym of A. splendissimus.

Keywords: Amphibian, Ranidae, Species Identification, Taxonomy, China-Vietnam Border


Yinpeng Zhang, Jodi J. L. Rowley, Xiaolong Liu, Tao Thien Nguyen, Huy Quoc Nguyen, Benjamin Tapley, Luan Thanh Nguyen, Yun Yang, Timothy Cutajar, Ying Zhang and Zhiyong Yuan. 2021. Amolops caelumnoctis Rao & Wilkinson, 2007, A Junior Synonym of A. splendissimus Orlov & Ho, 2007 (Amphibia: Anura: Ranidae). Zootaxa. 5057(2); 181-200. DOI: 10.11646/zootaxa.5057.2.2

[Botany • 2021] Oreocharis reticuliflora (Gesneriaceae) • A New Species from southeastern Sichuan, China

Oreocharis reticuliflora Li H. Yang & X.Z. Shi, 

in Yang & Shi, 2021.
Based on morphological observation and literature consultation, a new species of Oreocharis (Gesneriaceae), O. reticuliflora Li H. Yang & X.Z. Shi, is described and illustrated. This new species resembles O. auricula, but differs by its conspicuous and reticular secondary veins, corolla with a network of violet stripes on each lip lobe, glandular-pubescent ovary, shorter capsule and being densely brown woolly on the abaxial leaf surface, outside of bracts and calyx lobes. A detailed morphological description and photographic illustration of the new species are presented.

Keywords: Flora of Sichuan, morphology, new taxon, taxonomy

Figure 1. Oreocharis reticuliflora Li H. Yang & X.Z. Shi, sp. nov.
(A) habit, (B) front view of flower, (C) side view of flower, (D, G) opened corolla showing stamens and staminodes, (E) inflorescence, (F) pistil and calyx. Red arrows show the staminode.
Photo credit: Li-Hua Yang.

Figure 2. Holotype of Oreocharis reticuliflora Li H. Yang & X.Z.Shi, sp. nov.

Figure 3. Oreocharis reticuliflora (A-C, E-G) and O. auricula (D, H-J).
(A) Habitat, (B) fruit, (C-D) habit, (E, H) front view of flower, (F, I) side view of flower, (G, J) abaxial leaf surface.
Photo credit: Li-Hua Yang.

Oreocharis reticuliflora Li H. Yang & X.Z. Shi, sp. nov.

A species that mainly differs from Oreocharis auricula (S. Moore) C.B. Clarke by its conspicuous and reticular secondary veins on the abaxial leaf surface (versus inconspicuous), corolla with a network of violet stripes on each lip lobe (versus without such color pattern), glandular-pubescent ovary (versus glabrous), shorter capsule (ca 2 cm long versus ca 4.5 cm long) and by being densely brown woolly on the abaxial leaf surface, outside of bracts and calyx lobes (versus sparely brown villous).

Etymology: The specific epithet, reticuliflora, is derived from the Latin words, reticulum and flora, referring to the network of violet stripes on corolla limb of this new species.
 Vernacular name: In Chinese mandarin ‘Wang Wen Ma Ling Ju Tai' (网纹马铃苣苔).

Figure 4. The species with similar leaves of Oreocharis reticuliflora.
(A) O. benthamii var. reticulata, (B) O. maximowiczii, (C) O. tubiflora,
(D) O. flavida, (E) O. dasyantha, (F) O. sinohenryi,
(G) O. jasminina, (H) O. xiangguiensis, (I) O. chienii.
Photo credit: (A-G) Li-Hua Yang; (H-I) Peng-Wei Li.


 Li-Hua Yang and Xi-Zuo Shi. 2021. Oreocharis reticuliflora (Gesneriaceae), A New Species from southeastern Sichuan, China. Nordic Journal of Botany.  DOI: 10.1111/njb.03322

Friday, October 22, 2021

[Herpetology • 2021] Molecular Phylogenetics and Taxonomic Reassessment of the Widespread Agamid Lizard Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802) (Squamata, Agamidae) Across South Asia

Calotes vultuosus (Harlan, 1825), 
Calotes farooqi Auffenberg & Rehman, 1993

in Gowande, Pal, Jablonski, ... et Shanker, 2021. 

The genus Calotes Cuvier, 1817 (Agamidae: Draconinae) is highly diverse, with species occurring in South and Southeast Asia, and Oceania. Most species of the subfamily except C. versicolor have narrow geographic distributions. Calotes versicolor is distributed from western Iran in the west to south China and Indonesia in the east and has been introduced to parts of Africa and North America. The species has had a complicated taxonomic history; multiple species and subspecies related to C. versicolor were described from India and adjoining regions, which were synonymized in subsequent revisions. However, a study of Burmese C. versicolor yielded two new species, C. htunwini and C. irawadi, indicating that C. versicolor is a species complex. Such integrative taxonomic studies have not been carried out in India, the supposed type locality of C. versicolor. Hence, we studied C. versicolor sensu lato from the Indian subcontinent and generated sequences of mitochondrial 16S and COI fragments from tissues sampled from multiple localities in the region, including the type localities of its synonyms. Phylogenetic analyses revealed four well-supported, deeply-divergent lineages, supported by morphological data. These lineages represent (i) C. versicolor sensu stricto, from South India and parts of the east coast, (ii) C. irawadi sensu lato from northeast India and Southeast Asia, (iii) a synonym from the eastern Indo-Gangetic Plains which we resurrect here, and (iv) a subspecies from Pakistan which we elevate to species level. We provide re-descriptions for the resurrected or elevated species, and a diagnostic key to the species of the C. versicolor complex. The study shows that C. versicolor sensu stricto is endemic to parts of southern and eastern India, and not widely distributed, though it may have been introduced to other parts of the world.

Key words: 16S, COI, distribution, mtDNA, phylogenetics, species complex, species delimitation, systematics

A map of south and Southeast Asia representing the localities from which morphological and/or primary or secondary genetic data were collected. Red circles indicate the localities from which C. versicolor sensu stricto (Clade1) originate, yellow samples indicate those of C. irawadi sensu lato (Clade2), blue circles represent the localities of C. vultuosus comb. nov. (Clade3), green circles indicate Clade4, with C. farooqi stat. nov. (77, 83, 85, 86) and C. aff. farooqi (78, 79). A single sequence of Calotes irawadi from Huanan Province, China (locality 73) is not marked on the map, since it was very distant to all other localities, as also those whose precise localities were unknown. Triangles indicate type localities of the respective species. See supplementary Table S1 for details on molecular and/or morphological vouchers used, and their respective localities.

Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802)

Etymology: The specific epithet is an adjective in Latin referring to variable or to turn (versi, derived from versare) and color (color) of the species in life.

Distribution: The species appears to be endemic to India, occurring largely on the Southern Granulite Terrain and the eastern coast of India. The species was found in the Southern Western Ghats, the south-west coast of India, the southern Eastern Ghats, the eastern coast of India till Mahanadi basin in the north, and in the low-elevation areas of Peninsular India between the Eastern and the Western Ghats during this study. The species also has been introduced to the Maldives (Figs 1–3).

Calotes htunwini Zug and Vindum, 2007
Taxonomic comments: 
We did not include this species in our analyses; however, the species is distinct from members of the C. versicolor group due to the horizontal orientation of the scale rows of the neck and the supra-axillary region. The species occurs throughout the lower elevations of Myanmar’s Central Dry Zone (Zug et al. 2007).

Calotes irawadi Zug, Brown, Schulte and Vindum, 2007
Taxonomic comments:  
The species can be diagnosed by its posteriorad or vertical orientation of the scale rows of the neck and the supra-axillary region, this separates the species from C. htunwini; detailed comparisons with C. versicolor, the species resurrected and elevated in this communication are provided in the diagnoses and comparisons sections of those species. The species was thought to have a narrower distribution in the Central Dry Zone of Myanmar, in comparison to C. htunwini (Zug et al. 2007). It was subsequently reported from the northeast Indian states of Assam and Tripura (Das et al. 2009, Anonymous 2020), and has recently been reported from Western Yunnan, China (Liu et al. 2021). Our samples from northeast Indian states of Arunachal Pradesh and Tripura belonged to Clade2 (Fig. 2), thus confirming the occurrence of the species in northeast India.
An uncollected male of Calotes vultuosus comb. nov., from Burdwan, West Bengal, India, in life.
Photograph by Ayan Mondal.

Calotes vultuosus (Harlan, 1825) comb. nov. 

Etymology: The specific epithet ‘vultuosa’ could refer to the grim or frowning look of the species when viewed frontally, which it gets due to the flattened scales of the CanthR and the supercilium. The specific epithet vultuosa is feminine singular and is here changed to the masculine gender vultuosus in agreement with the generic epithet, Calotes, which is masculine in gender.

Distribution: The species appears to be widely distributed, occupying parts of the Dharwar Craton till Brahmagiri, Deccan Volcanic Province, the Central Highlands, the Gangetic Plains, and the Indian Deserts (Fig. 1).

Calotes farooqi Auffenberg and Rehman, 1993, stat. nov.

Etymology: The specific epithet is a patronym in genitive singular case, dedicated to Farooq Ahmed, former Director, Zoological Survey Department, Pakistan.

An integrated molecular-morphological investigation demonstrates that C. versicolor on the Indian subcontinent is composed of multiple lineages. It is not as widely distributed as was earlier believed, but occurs in southern India and on the east coast, with the possibility of its occurrence on the island of Sri Lanka. The study led to the revalidation of the species C. vultuosus comb. nov., a species potentially endemic to the Deccan Volcanic Province, Central Highlands, arid and semi-arid regions of India and Gangetic Plains, which was under the synonymy of C. versicolor; and the promotion of the subspecies C. versicolor farooqi from Pakistan to species rank, as C. farooqi stat. nov. We further confirm the presence of C. cf. irawadi in northeast India. The taxonomic status of the populations introduced to Maldives was also resolved. Our results lend further support to the argument that many widely distributed species represent species complexes, demanding urgent taxonomic attention.

 Gaurang Gowande, Saunak Pal, Daniel Jablonski, Rafaqat Masroor, Pushkar U. Phansalkar, Princia Dsouza, Aditi Jayarajan and Kartik Shanker. 2021. Molecular Phylogenetics and Taxonomic Reassessment of the Widespread Agamid Lizard Calotes versicolor (Daudin, 1802) (Squamata, Agamidae) Across South Asia. Vertebrate Zoology. 71: 669-696. DOI: 10.3897/vz.71.e62787

Thursday, October 21, 2021

[Paleontology • 2021] Cretapsara athanata • Crab (Euarthropoda: Eubrachyura) in Amber reveals An Early Colonization of Nonmarine Environments during the Cretaceous

Cretapsara athanata Luque, 

in Luque, Xing, Briggs, ... et McKellar, 2021

Artwork by Franz Anthony 

Amber fossils provide snapshots of the anatomy, biology, and ecology of extinct organisms that are otherwise inaccessible. The best-known fossils in amber are terrestrial arthropods—principally insects—whereas aquatic organisms are rarely represented. Here, we present the first record of true crabs (Brachyura) in amber—from the Cretaceous of Myanmar [~100 to 99 million years (Ma)]. The new fossil preserves large compound eyes, delicate mouthparts, and even gills. This modern-looking crab is nested within crown Eubrachyura, or “higher” true crabs, which includes the majority of brachyuran species living today. The fossil appears to have been trapped in a brackish or freshwater setting near a coastal to fluvio-estuarine environment, bridging the gap between the predicted molecular divergence of nonmarine crabs (~130 Ma) and their younger fossil record (latest Cretaceous and Paleogene, ~75 to 50 Ma) while providing a reliable calibration point for molecular divergence time estimates for higher crown eubrachyurans.

Cretapsara athanata Luque gen. et sp. nov., a modern-looking eubrachyuran crab in Burmese amber.
 (A to D) Holotype LYAM-9. (A) Whole amber sample with crab inclusion in ventral view. (B) Close-up of ventral carapace. (C) Whole amber sample with crab inclusion in dorsal view. (D) Close-up of dorsal carapace. White arrows in (B) and (D) indicate the detached left fifth leg or pereopod.
 Photos by Lida Xing. Figure by Javier Luque.

3D mesh of Cretapsara athanata Luque gen. et sp. nov. holotype LYAM-9.
(A to E) 3D mesh extracted from reconstructed micro-CT data in VGSTUDIO MAX, remeshed in MeshLab, and visualized using Autodesk Maya: (A) dorsal, (B) ventral, (C) right lateral, (D) oblique postero-dorsal, (E) oblique antero-ventral views, showing the claws of equal size and four pairs of slender legs similar in shape and size, with P5 slightly smaller than the other legs. (F and G) Details of the dorsal (F) and ventral (G) carapace, showing details of the large eyes and orbits, small antennae, and a small, acute outer orbital spine [(F) thick arrow], two small anterolateral spines (F, thin arrows), a posterolateral margin bearing at least four small and equidistant tubercles (F, small arrows), straight posterior margin, slender coxae of the pereopods, a typical heterotreme eubrachyuran sternum (G), and a reduced and folded pleon with the first pleonites dorsally exposed. Left fifth pereopod digitally reattached.
 bcg, branchiocardiac groove; ca, carpus; cg, cervical groove; cx, coxa; da, dactylus; ib, ischiobasis; ma, manus or palm of claw; P1, claws or chelipeds; P2 to P5, pereopods or walking legs 2 to 5; po, pollex or fixed finger cheliped propodus; pr, propodus.
 Images by Elizabeth G. Clark. Figure by Javier Luque

Systematic paleontology
Euarthropoda Lankester, 1904
Decapoda Latreille, 1802
Brachyura Latreille, 1802
Eubrachyura Saint Laurent, 1980

Cretapsaridae Luque, fam. nov.

 Included genus: Cretapsara Luque, gen. nov., by monotypy.

Diagnosis: As for type genus and species.

Remarks: Cretapsara athanata n. gen. et sp. differs from any known crab family in its combination of plesiomorphic and apomorphic characters. Superficially, it shares some resemblance to some marine eubrachyuran families such as Eogeryonidae, from the Upper Cretaceous of Spain [Eogeryon elegius, Cenomanian (14)] (Fig. 5H) and the Lower Cretaceous of Brazil [Romualdocarcinus salesi, Albian (15)], and Marocarcinidae, from the Upper Cretaceous of Morocco [Marocarcinus pasinii, Cenomanian (16)] (Fig. 5E). Cretapsara differs from Eogeryonidae and Marocarcinidae in the presence of a bilobate rostrum and lack of orbital fissures, compared to the bifid and acute rostrum and two well-developed orbital fissures diagnostic of these two families [Marocarcinidae was initially interpreted as having no orbital fissures due to the erroneous interpretation of the eyestalks as part of the orbit (16) but is here recognized as having two orbital fissures and scored as such in our analysis].

Cretapsara athanata Luque, gen. et sp. nov.
Etymology: The genus name combines Creta (Latin), for chalk as in Cretaceous, and Apsaraa spirit of the clouds and waters; gender is feminine. The specific epithet is based on athanatos (Greek), immortal, referring to its lifelike preservation. The family name is based on the only known genus, erected herein.

Holotype: Specimen LYAM-9 (Figs. 1 and 2) deposited in the Longyin Amber Museum, Xishan District, Kunming 650228, Yunnan Province, China. Specimen collected by local miners in 2015.
Type locality and horizon: Angbamo site, Tanai Township, Myitkyina District, Kachin Province, Myanmar [~98.8 ± 0.6 Ma; lowermost Cenomanian (17–19)].

Diagnosis: The carapace is subhexagonal, nearly as long as it is wide; the orbitofrontal margin is nearly as wide as the body and bears wide, shallow orbits that lack supraorbital fissures or intraorbital spines. The rostrum is bilobate, short, and wide, measuring about half the width of the orbitofrontal margin. The anterolateral margin is one-third as long as the posterolateral margin, and it bears a small outer orbital spine and two short subtriangular anterolateral spines; the posterolateral margin is straight to slightly convex, and it bears at least four small and equidistant tubercles. The posterior margin is wide, nearly straight, rimmed, and apparently ornamented with a row of small tubercles. The cervical and branchiocardiac grooves are well developed, reach the lateral margins of the body, and are expressed ventrally; the dorsal regions are well developed and delimited by grooves. The buccal cavern is wide, covered by a pair of operculiform mxp3 that lack a V-shaped incision in the occlusal margin. The thoracic sternites 1 to 3 are visible ventrally and are separated from a subtrapezoidal sternite 4 by a shallow groove. Sternites 5 and 6 are similar in shape; sternite 5 is the widest of all, and sternites 6 to 8 reduce in size posteriorly. The sterno-abdominal cavity is shallow, and there is no evidence of a linea media traversing the sternites. The pleon has a small subtriangular telson and, based on the stereomicroscope images and the micro-CT scanning, apparently has six free and unfused pleonites, from which at least the first two are fully visible dorsally; there is no evidence of uropods or uropod remains. The eyes are as large as the orbits; the corneal eye is globular, as wide as it is long, and apparently covered by small hexagonal facets; the eyestalk is short and cylindrical. The antennulae and antennae are reduced. The claws or chelipeds are equal in shape and size, and the four pairs of walking legs are well developed, slender, and similar in size and shape; they lack chelate, subchelate, or flattened distal podomeres (e.g., propodi and dactyli); the podomeres are semicircular in cross section. Excurrent openings are well developed, small, and circular.

Phylogenetic relationships of Cretapsara athanata Luque, gen. et sp. nov. in the crab tree of life. Bayesian majority-rule consensus topology of the post–burn-in sample of trees for key fossil and extant eubrachyuran families, including probability support values indicated at branches. Branches with posterior probability support <75% are collapsed. Thick solid lines represent the ages of the known first and last occurrences of the studied families. Dotted lines and daggers (†) indicate extinct taxa; solid lines indicate living taxa.
Photos: Heikeopsis japonica (A) by T.-Y. Chan; Telamonocarcinus gambalatus (B), M. pasinii (E), and E. elegius (H) by À. Ossó; Archaeochiapasa mardoqueoi (C) by F. Vega; Componocancer robertsi (D) by R. Feldmann and C. Schweitzer; Dilocarcinus septemdentatus (G) and Melothelphusa dardanelosensis (M) by Senckenberg Museum, S. Tränkner, courtesy of C. Magalhães [(M) after (80)]; Cretapsara athanata Luque gen. et sp. nov. (F) herein; C. maenas (I), C. sapidus (K), Geothelphusa olea (O), Sayamia melanodactylus (P), Geosesarma dennerle (R), and C. guanhumi (S) by O. Radosta; G. trispinosus (J) by C. Noever (CC BY 4.0,; Dinocarcinus velauciensis (L) by N. Robin; Potamonautes kunduno (N) by P. Crabb (CC BY 3.0,; G. cruentata (Q) by A. Anker; and Leptuca oerdesti (T) by Javier Luque. Figure by Javier Luque.

Photos: Heikeopsis japonica (A) by T.-Y. Chan; Telamonocarcinus gambalatus (B), M. pasinii (E), and E. elegius (H) by À. Ossó; Archaeochiapasa mardoqueoi (C) by F. Vega; Componocancer robertsi (D) by R. Feldmann and C. Schweitzer; Dilocarcinus septemdentatus (G) and Melothelphusa dardanelosensis (M) by Senckenberg Museum, S. Tränkner, courtesy of C. Magalhães [(M) after (80)]; Cretapsara athanata Luque gen. et sp. nov. (F) herein; Carcinus maenas (I), Carcinus sapidus (K), Geothelphusa olea (O), Sayamia melanodactylus (P), Geosesarma dennerle (R), and Cardisoma guanhumi (S) by O. RadostaGeryon trispinosus (J) by C. Noever (CC BY 4.0,; Dinocarcinus velauciensis (L) by N. Robin; Potamonautes kunduno (N) by P. Crabb (CC BY 3.0,; G. cruentata (Q) by A. Anker; and Leptuca oerdesti (T) by Javier Luque. Figure by Javier Luque.


Javier Luque, Lida Xing, Derek E. G. Briggs, Elizabeth G. Clark, Alex Duque, Junbo Hui, Huijuan Mai and Ryan C. McKellar. 2021. Crab in Amber reveals An Early Colonization of Nonmarine Environments during the Cretaceous. Science Advances. Vol 7(43); DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.abj5689

[Ichthyology • 2021] New Records and Redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933) (Teleostei: Pseudochromidae)

Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933)

in Gill, Sorgon, Brun & Tea, 2021.

Photographs by V. Brun.

 The pseudochromid Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933) is redescribed based on examination of the holotype from Culion, Calamian Islands, and three newly acquired non-type specimens from a fish landing site in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines. Prior to this, the species was known only from the holotype; from a photograph of a putative female taken in Lajo Island, Busuanga, Calamian Islands; and from observations at Lajo Island and Tangat Island, Calamian Islands. The new specimens from Macuao Island appear to be males, and their live colouration is reported here for the first time. We also briefly comment on the restricted distribution of other pseudochromids and coral-reef fishes in the Palawan region of the Philippines.

 Key words. dottyback, Philippines, endemic, Palawan, Calamian Islands, Culion, Taytay

Freshly dead Labracinus atrofasciatus specimens from Macuao Island, northern Palawan, Philippines.
A, PNM 15645, 146.5 mm SL; B, PNM 15646, 142.0 mm SL; C, AMS I.49470-001, 134.4 mm SL.
Photographs by V. Brun (A) and K. E. S. Sorgon (B, C).

Two specimens of Labracinus atrofasciatus (approximately 150 and 190 mm TL) amongst catch of other reef fishes at a fish landing site in Barangay Sandoval, Municipality of Taytay, northern Palawan, Philippines. Specimens not retained.
Photograph by V. Brun.

Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933) 
Black-barred dottyback

Diagnosis. Labracinus atrofasciatus differs from congeners in having a series of narrow, dark blue to black oblique bars on the body. It also differs in having relatively high numbers of horizontal scale rows above the anal-fin origin (24–27 + 1 + 4–5 = 30–33), pseudobranch filaments (22–24), and circumpeduncular scales (30–32).

Etymology. The specific epithet is derived from the Latin ‘atrum’, black, and ‘fascia’, band, in reference to the striking markings on the body of this species. Labracinus atrofasciatus is known locally as ‘akot’ in Cuyonon, a language spoken mostly in Cuyo Islands and coastal areas of Palawan in the Philippines, where it shares the local name with the congeneric L. cyclophthalmus. 

Habitat and distribution. We extend the known distribution of L. atrofasciatus from Culion in the Calamian Islands southward to Taytay, Palawan (Fig. 4A). ...

Map of the Philippines, showing distribution records for selected species of pseudochromids endemic to the Calamian Islands and Palawan regions.
A, Labracinus atrofasciatus, photograph of PNM 15645; B, Pseudochromis colei, photograph of aquarium specimen (not retained);
C, P. eichleri, photograph of AMS I.45651-001 (paratype); D, Manonichthys scintilla, photograph of USNM 382744 (paratype).
Photographs by V. Brun (A), Y. K. Tea (B), G. R. Allen (C), and J. T. Williams (D).

A, putative female of Labracinus atrofasciatus, in situ photograph taken in Lajo Island, Palawan, Philippines;
B, holotype of L. atrofasciatus, CAS-SU 25518, 105.5 mm SL holotype (image adapted from Gill, 2004). Note the posterior dorsal-fin spot and faint vertical bars in both specimens.
Photographs by G. R. Allen & M. V. Erdmann (A) and P. Crabb (B).

Anthony C. Gill, Kent Elson S. Sorgon, Victor Brun and Yi-Kai Tea. 2021. New Records and Redescription of Labracinus atrofasciatus (Herre, 1933) (Teleostei: Pseudochromidae). RAFFLES BULLETIN OF ZOOLOGY. 69; 438–447.  

[Herpetology • 2021] Cyrtodactylus bapme • A New Species of Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827) from the Garo Hills, Meghalaya State, north-east India, and Discussion of Morphological Variation for C. urbanus

 Cyrtodactylus bapme
Kamei & Mahony, 2021

Garo Hills Bent-toed Gecko || DOI: 10.33256/31.3.177196

 Recent taxonomic and systematic research on Cyrtodactylus khasiensis has found that this nomen comprises a large number of superficially similar but deeply divergent species-level taxa from throughout north-east India and surrounding countries. In this study we focus on the taxonomic status of recently surveyed populations from the East Garo Hills and West Garo Hills districts and a single specimen collected from Ri Bhoi District in Meghalaya State, north-east India. Based on a combination of morphological and molecular data we found that the Ri Bhoi specimen is conspecific with the recently described C. urbanus, and that the Garo Hills populations represent a new species of Cyrtodactylus described herein. Molecular analyses (using the NADH dehydrogenase 2, nd2 and adjoining tRNA genes) demonstrate that the new species is nested within the khasiensis group of the Indo-Burma radiation of Cyrtodactylus, and is well-supported as sister to a clade that comprises C. septentrionalis and C. guwahatiensis. We morphologically compare the new C. urbanus specimen with the original description of the species, identify a number of errors and ambiguities in the original description, and notably expand the known morphological variation for the species based on 23 characters. The discovery of an endemic new species of lizards from the Garo Hills further highlights the region as an overlooked centre of biodiversity importance. We discuss several misidentifications in the literature of other reptile species from the region emphasising the need for further attention by taxonomists to review the herpetofauna of the Garo Hills.

Keywords: Biodiversity, taxonomy, lizard, reptile, endemic

 Cyrtodactylus bapme sp. nov. adult female holotype (BNHS 2752) in preservation:
A. dorsal view; B. ventral view; C. details of dorsal pholidosis; D. dorsal view of head; E. ventral view of head; F. lateral view of head.
A and B to scale; D–F to scale. Scale bar is 10 mm.

 Cyrtodactylus bapme sp. nov. in life from Meghalaya State, north-east India, showing variation in colour and pattern:
A. adult female paratype (BNHS 2754) from Jangrapara, West Garo Hills District; B. adult female paratype (BNHS 2755) from Tura Peak Reserved Forest, West Garo Hills District;
C. juvenile paratype (BNHS 2756) from Jangrapara, West Garo Hills District; D. adult female paratype (BNHS 2753) from Daribokgre, East Garo Hills District;
E. and F. adult female holotype (BNHS 2752) from Daribokgre, East Garo Hills District.
 Images taken ex-situ.

Cyrtodactylus bapme sp. nov. 

Morphological character summary. Cyrtodactylus bapme sp. nov. is a moderate-sized gecko (SVL 69.9– 77.0 mm); 8–12 supralabials; 8–10 infralabials; dorsal tubercles are smooth to weakly keeled, bluntly conical; 21–24 dorsal tubercle rows; ca. 32–37 paravertebral tubercles between the level of the axilla and the level of the groin; 30–39 midventral scale rows; 0–13 pit-bearing (without true pore) precloacal scales in a continuous series in females, condition in males unknown; 12–19 subdigital lamellae on finger IV (excluding non-lamellar scales between the proximal and apical lamellae series); 15–22 subdigital lamellae on toe IV (excluding nonlamellar scales between the proximal and apical lamellae series); no single row of transversely enlarged subcaudal scales; 7–9 paired dark brown dorsal blotches on the dorsum; 10–12 alternating dark and light bands on the dorsum of the tail.

Etymology. The specific epithet “bapme” is derived from the word for “gecko” in the Garo language of the A’chik Mande (“Garo people”), the tribe indigenous to the region where the species occurs. The name is treated as a noun in apposition. 
Suggested Common name. Garo Hills Bent-toed Gecko.

  Rachunliu G. Kamei and Stephen Mahony. 2021. A New Species of Bent-toed Gecko (Squamata: Gekkonidae: Cyrtodactylus Gray, 1827) from the Garo Hills, Meghalaya State, north-east India, and Discussion of Morphological Variation for C. urbanusHerpetological Journal. 31(3); 177-196. DOI: 10.33256/31.3.177196